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SWOT analysis of Air Canada – Air Canada SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis of Air Canada – Air Canada SWOT analysis

This detailed SWOT analysis of Air Canada provides an overview of Air Canada – the largest provider of scheduled passenger services in Canada. It aims to analyse the strengths and the weaknesses of the airline. It also aims to explore the opportunities and the threats facing the airline.

Strengths of Air Canada

As stated above, Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada. It works with a number of regional partners under the Air Canada Express banner. The airlines that operate under this banner are: Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional Airlines Inc., Exploits Valley Air Services (EVAS), and Air Georgian Ltd (Air Canada, 2020). Air Canada Rouge is Air Canada’s leisure airline that caters for the needs of leisure travellers.

Air Canada together with its partners under Air Canada Express carries millions of customers every year. In 2019, it carried almost 51.54 million passengers to more than 200 destinations (Mazareanu, 2020).  The airline has a very good financial position as well. For example, its net income was C$876 million Canadian dollars in the year ended December 31, 2016. Likewise, its net come in 2019 was C$917 million.

Over the years, Air Canada has received a number of prestigious awards. For example, it was voted the ‘Best Airline in North America’ in 2016 by the readers of Global Traveler magazine. It was also named the Favorite Airline in North America in 2019 by The Trazees, and the Best Airline in North America by Skytrax. It is worth mentioning that Air Canada is one of the twenty largest airlines in the world.

Weaknesses of Air Canada

 Though Air Canada is one of the twenty largest airlines in the world, it is not as widely known as some of its competitors in the international arena. Likewise, it had the highest number of customer complaints among the Canadian airlines during the 2018-2019 fiscal year (Mazareanu, 2020).

In February 2018, Air Canada faced some technical difficulties. Although there were no reports of flight cancellations, computer issues temporarily shut down the airline’s web and mobile check-ins and call centre operations. It also caused flight delays in some airports. While it was a temporary issue and was resolved quickly, it still shows Air Canada’s vulnerability in the face of technological difficulties (Bell Media, 2018).

Opportunities for Air Canada

Air Canada has seized a number of opportunities recently. In 2017, the airline introduced 30 new routes, including 20 new international routes (Air Canada, 2020). Toronto to Mumbai, Montreal to Algiers, and Vancouver to Frankfurt are some of international routes launched in 2017. Introducing further routes in the international markets is worth exploring.

Inbound tourism witnessed significant increases in recent years in Canada. 22.1 million tourists visited the country in 2018. Likewise, domestic tourism is also great as staycations are very popular with Canadians. This is a great opportunity for Air Canada to penetrate further into its domestic market.

Threats to Air Canada

Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of Air Canada. Threats may emanate from a number of sources. For example, the biggest threats to Air Canada are its competitors. The airline faces a number of competitors both in the domestic and the international markets. WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwest Aviation, & Provincial Airlines are some of the competitors of Air Canada, particularly in the domestic market.

In international markets, Air Canada competes with some of the biggest names in the aviation industry e.g. British Airways, American Airlines, Emirates Airlines, & Qatar Airways to name but a few. Apart from competition, economic lockdown is another massive threat to any airline, not Air Canada only.

We hope this article ‘SWOT analysis of Air Canada’ has been useful. You may also like reading Marketing mix of Air Canada and SWOT analysis of British Airways. Other relevant articles you may be interested in are:

Competitors of Air Canada (Competitor analysis of Air Canada)

How to do a SWOT analysis

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Last Update: 23 October 2020


Air Canada (2020) Corporate Profile, available at: (Accessed October 2020)

Bell Media (2018) Computer issues temporarily shut down Air Canada check-in, call centre operations (Accessed 16 March 2018)

Mazareanu, E. (2020) Number of passengers carried by Air Canada from 2011 to 2019, available at: (accessed 20 October 2020)

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.